More than 20 swimmers joined the historic 40th Saipan Swim Club Saipan Ocean Swim held last Saturday in the waters off Susupe.
Long-time swimmers and a handful of first-timers plunged into the lagoon, going around colorful buoys and getting a clear look of the partially submerged World War II tanks by participating in one of the longest-running ocean swims in the Pacific.
“We congratulate the 23 participants who made this 40th special. We had several first time swimmers—Jordan and Avalon Fryling, Georgia Baetge, Lola Guerrero, Jenny Zhang, Michael Miller, Zeno Iwami, Manuel Magboo, Nagi Tenorio, and Janet King—and they did an outstanding job. We also had a participant from Hilo Hawaii, Catherine Spina, who heard about the SOS from Bill Sakovich. It was great to share the beauty of the SOS with swimmers from around the world,” SSC coach Jacoby Winkfield said.
Spina joined the 5.2-kilometer swim and timed in at 1:37:20, while Lennosuke Suzuki and David Boyer had the fastest times (1:18:17) in the longest race of the day. Tony Raho and Jinju Thompson also completed the five-lap course and submitted 1:40:38 and 1:18:20, respectively.
In the 3.9K race, Jinnosuke Suzuki was the first finisher with his 54:41 and was followed by Taiyo Akimaru (57:66), Anthony Camacho-Deleon Guerrero (59:32), and Jinie Thompson (1:16:59). Michael Miller completed the top finishers in the competitive swims after clocking in at 20:55 in the 1K course and beating three others.
“It is great to see a mix of swimmers and parents and volunteers there to celebrate not only swimming, but family. To add to the event, the Northern Mariana Islands Swimming Federation organized an open water swimming developmental clinic that ran in conjunction with the ocean swim,” Winkfield said.
“John West, an open water technical official from FINA, led the clinic that focused on rules, organization, logistics, and safety aspects of hosting a FINA open water event. The clinic was very informative and gave the participants a more comprehensive look at open water swimming and the huge potential that it has here on Saipan,” the SSC coach added.